PHILADELPHIA -- If you told me in June when the NHL schedule came out that two games after the Winter Classic, when the Flyers would host the Ottawa freakin' Senators in a 1 p.m. game the Wells Fargo Center, that it would be one of the more intriguing games of the year, there's not a chance in hell I would have believed you.
Well, you would have been right. Danny Briere GOT IN A FIGHT and scored a hat trick, including the overtime winner with five seconds left, as the Flyers came back to beat the Sens, 3-2. It was an absolutely phenomenal prelude to tomorrow's 5 p.m game in Ottawa, and I'm sure the team is going to have quite the time on the plane ride up to Canada.
Peter Laviolette was certainly fired up about Briere's afternoon.
"Inspiring. Inspired me, I know that. He came out and he was skating and he was in the battles and gettin' knocked around and taking some and giving some. That's where he's gotta be in order to score the goals. He's gotta be willing to take that from some big guys. A fight, three goals, won it with half a dozen seconds left on the clock. It was a terrific, terrific effort.
"You watch a guy like that, he's not big. You know, even in that fight. I know it's a couple of skilled guys but he probably gave up -- I think the reach, probably three or four inches in reach. Is that what they go by in fights, reach? He's not a big guy. A flyweight.
"He did a good job in the fight. It gave our bench a lift. It was not a good second period for us. You know, we ended up comin' out stormin' in the third period. We weren't able to crack a goal right away, but certainly, I think it gave us a lift. He had a monster game, really."
Overshadowed by Briere's heroics was the fine day of work put in by Ilya Bryzgalov. He made 35 saves on the afternoon for the Flyers, and many of them, including a pad save in overtime, were absolutely huge. He just looked a whole lot calmer and more confident in the crease today, and he seemed to track the puck really well all afternoon.
The team was pretty hard on themselves after the game. Danny Briere said it wasn't the best game for the team, and he felt that they didn't bring it for the full 60 minutes. Kimmo Timonen thought they let off the gas in the second period a bit, but that overall they were the better team on the afternoon.
But really, I didn't think they played that poorly at all. I don't think the score was indicative of the chances the Flyers had, especially early on in the game. They hit posts and just generally seemed unlucky on a lot of their chances. Hey, they got the win. That's all that really matters.
Questions with Answers
- It was a physical game with quite a few PIM last time these teams met. Again? 36 combined. It was a fiesty game. Nothing to sneeze at.
- Can James van Riemsdyk have another solid game? I didn't notice Reemer all that much today. Thought Sean Couturier really stood out in limited ice time (thanks, PP time) though.
- What about Matt Read? He had four points against Ottawa last time out. No points, but he was involved in the game.
- It looks like Kimmo Timonen will play, because he's a bad ass. How's he look, and how many minutes does he play? He led the team in ice time and had an assist, all while feeling the pain. he's a bad ass.
Comment of the Day
Rogue 6 to echo base. We found him. Repeat. We found him.